Jonathan Boff is a Senior Lecturer in History and War Studies at the University of Birmingham, where he teaches courses on conflict from Homer to Helmand. He specializes in the First World War and his previous book, Winning and Losing on the Western Front: The British Third Army and the Defeat of Germany in 1918 (CUP, 2012) was short-listed for the Templer Medal and for the British Army Book of the Year award. He was educated at Merton College, Oxford and the Department of War Studies, King's College London, and spent twenty years working in finance before returning to academia. He serves on the councils of the National Army Museum and Army Records Society, has worked as a historical consultant with the British Army and the BBC, and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
The literature on the First World War has grown enormously over the past three decades, given a further recent boost by the centenary of the war. It thus comes as a surprise to realize that, apart from Paul von Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorff, no senior German commander has yet been the subject of a full English-language biography, though several memoirs appeared in English soon after the war. Historian Jonathan Boff (Univ. of Birmingham) has thus begun to fill a serious gap in the scholarship on World War I. Haig's Enemy centers specifically on Rupprecht, Crown Prince of Bavaria, who, for much of the war, commanded the main German forces opposing the British on the Western Front. * Michigan War Studies Review * Boff has produced a welcome study, which will interest many students of military history. He has introduced a leading German figure of the First World War to an anglophone audience, and he has offered a persuasive historical analysis of critical issues of staff and command. * Journal of Modern History * 'This scholarly but lucid and beautifully written account of the German High Command is essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand how the fighting on the Western Front developed during the First World War.' * Professor Sir Michael Howard * 'Using extensive German sources, Boffs scholarly military biography provides a fascinating insight not only into Rupprechts thinking, but also in the First World War from the German side. It is a fresh and unusual take on the war.' * Taylor Downing, Military History Monthly * 'Haig's Enemy helps us to understand how the German army developed and changed during the war, as well as how it came to lose. Boff charts an unedifying picture of lessons being learnt and forgotten, top-down interference from the higher command, as well as the growing intensity and lethality of the fighting ... [Haig's Enemy] illustrates the pressures and strains on one man at war, and how he did his best to mitigate them.' * Nick Lloyd, The Times Literary Supplement * 'Of all diaries and memoirs written by the senior German officers of the First World War, that of Crown Prince Rupprecht of Bavaria has long been regarded as the most revealing. Yet Rupprecht himself has remained elusive, his contribution eclipsed by his more voluble and histrionic contemporaries. Jonathan Boff has not only brought him to life (and to an English audience), but done so in a book that ranges far more widely than a conventional biography. Readers will gain fresh perspectives on the British and French as much as they learn about Rupprecht's Bavarians.' * Sir Hew Strachan, University of St Andrews and Editor of the Great Battles series. * 'Crown Prince Rupprecht was one of the most significant German commanders to face the British Army across No Man's Land, but until now we have lacked a biography in English . . . A triumph.' * Gary Sheffield, Professor of War Studies, University of Wolverhampton. * Shortlisted for the British Army Military Book of the Year, 2019 Year Joint winner of the 2018 Norman B. Tomlinson, Jr. Prize for the best work of history in English on World War One, awarded by the World War One Historical Association Boff has produced a welcome study, which will interest many students of military history. He has introduced a leading German figure of the First World War to an anglo-phone audience, and he has offered a persuasive historical analysis of critical issues of staff and command. * Roger Chickering, Journal of Modern History *